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Zhilei Zhang fears that Tyson Fury's cut could hinder him against Oleksandr Usyk

Zhilei Zhang fears that Tyson Fury's cut could hinder him against Oleksandr Usyk

Zhilei Zhang fears that Tyson Fury's cut could be a factor in his clash with Oleksandr Usyk.

The undisputed heavyweight bout has been delayed until May 18 after the British fighter suffered a nasty cut above his right eye during training but Zhang thinks that the injury will need to be managed carefully by the Gypsy King's team.

The Chinese heavyweight contender told Gambling.com: "It’s hard to say [how the cut will impact the fight]. Every fighter is different with how long cuts take to heal. It really depends on the person. But I do think Tyson Fury has enough time to heal and find sparring. If I were him, I would be very careful to find trustworthy and understanding sparring partners.

"The cut could factor into the fight, especially if it’s an older cut that has opened. It’s possible it could open again.

"Oleksandr Usyk could target the eye, but he would also have to expect that Tyson Fury would have a strategy to protect the eye or have a strategy to use Usyk’s aggression towards the eye against him. The cut does present an interesting element."

Zhang enjoyed an impressive 2023 with consecutive wins over Joe Joyce and is getting ready to take on former world champion Joseph Parker in Saudi Arabia next month as he seeks a world title shot.

He said: "Camp has been going very well for me. I feel strong, and I’m working hard with my trainer, Shaun George, on a game plan. I am confident in a victory, but I’ll keep specific predictions to myself for now, but I believe I am going to put on a show alongside Joseph Parker.

"I’m very excited to fight in Saudi Arabia. His Excellency, Turki Alalshikh, has a big vision and he is a man who is executing that vision for the benefit of boxing fans worldwide."

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